Now it’s your turn: Quebec youth begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine

On the first day of eligibility, 75 children between the ages of six months and five years were vaccinated Monday at the Décarie Square vaccination center.


A section of the COVID-19 vaccination center in Décarie Square was turned into a children’s entertainment center on Monday, the first day the vaccine was made available to Quebec’s youngest residents.

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A total of 75 children between the ages of six months and five years, for whom Health Canada approved two quarter doses of the Moderna vaccine earlier this month, were booked for the vaccine at the center on Monday.

“It’s a bit slow today, it’s the first week of the construction holidays, but I’m sure it will improve in the coming weeks,” said Lucie Tremblay, director of nursing and vaccination at the CIUSSS du Centre. Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, which oversees the site.

The children were distracted by bubbles, stuffed animals, stickers, and cartoons in an effort to ease the experience, all of which seemed to work.

“I was expecting her to cry, but she didn’t,” Vincent Garneau said of his four-year-old daughter, Simone, who spent her post-vaccine waiting period coloring.

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Garneau said he has been waiting a long time to get Simone vaccinated against COVID-19, describing it as “an insurance policy.”

“We see that it is not 100 percent, but it is for the future,” he said. “And it’s also a matter of respect for everyone who works in the health system.”

Nadia Mimouni, whose 2 1/2-year-old son, Vincent, also received the vaccine on Monday, said the approval came just in time, as Vincent will start day care in September.

“It’s a relief because we were wondering if he would get COVID or not,” he said. “She finally got an injection, so there is less chance of her getting COVID.”

Chris Zimmerman, Vincent’s father, added: “It’s good to know there’s less chance of serious illness.”

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About six people were vaccinating children at the center on Monday, which Tremblay said could include a mix of nurses, doctors, midwives and other similar professionals, the only ones who are eligible to vaccinate younger children.

“We reviewed our process because you’re not doing it the same way with young kids that you would even with older kids,” Tremblay said. “The way we hold them, the way we do the vaccination. And it’s not the same professionals who can do it, so we go through the whole process to make sure, too, that the kids feel safe when they come here with their parents, and that it’s the best it can be.”

Tremblay said there was no expectation of how many families would book vaccination appointments at his CIUSSS during the first week, especially since it coincides with Quebec’s construction holiday, but that he prepared “for everything.”

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“We made sure we had an offer that the population could take advantage of,” he said. “So overall, we have a supply of 1,300 appointments available per week.”

Federal Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos took to Twitter on Monday to encourage Quebec parents to vaccinate their children.

“(Not) only protects them, but also contributes to the safety of our communities by preventing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

A recent survey by the Quebec public health institute reported that 44 percent of parents of children under four years of age intended to vaccinate their children against COVID-19, 40 percent intended not to and 16 percent were unsure. The data was collected between June 24 and July 6.

According to Statistics Canada data from 2021, there are more than 420,000 children under the age of four in Quebec.

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